May 09, 2004

If you're a high school basketball player, and you're thinking of declaring your eligibility for the NBA draft, you might want to make sure you don't suck.

Case in point, NBA hopeful Ivan Chiriaev strutted his stuff today at a high school all-star game. The assessment from scouts in attendance: "He can't play the game," or alternately, "What a waste of time." Uh, ouch!

posted by molafson to basketball at 07:31 PM - 12 comments

Seriously, what was going through this kid's head? He can't even dominate a Canadian high school game. WTF? But after all that, if he still thinks he's first-round NBA material, he should fly down to NYC and try to get a couple of games in the playgrounds. That'd probably sort it out for him.

posted by molafson at 07:59 PM on May 09

Looks like he signed a letter of intent for Iowa State. Doesn't that take him out of the draft? Or can a player sign letters of intent all day long and then just ignore them and enter the draft anyway? I guess I don't really understand this crap.

posted by NoMich at 10:17 PM on May 09

Oh, and to answer your rhetorical quesiton of what is going through his head: articles like this one. After reading the Star article, 2 things immediately popped into my head: 1). He just had a bad day. Or 2). His agent writes for

posted by NoMich at 10:20 PM on May 09

Looks like he signed a letter of intent for Iowa State. Doesn't that take him out of the draft? I dunno. I don't understand these intricacies either. But I checked the NCAA site. According to Section V, an athlete loses his amateur status if he asks to be placed on the draft list for any professional sport... except basketball. According to Item C, you can enter the NBA draft once without losing your amateur status. I don't know why it's different for basketball, or how this rule is applied to high school prospects, precisely. Anyway, the disjunction between the Star article and the NBADraft hype is interesting. Maybe is frontin' (likely). Or maybe the Star reporter has some kind of personal vendetta against Chiriaev. (Maybe Chiriaev sold him some bad pot or nailed his daughter or something, ha ha.) But that really was a sublime hatchet job. And I really would like to see Rafer Alston (or latter-day equivalent) torch this kid on the asphalt in front of a jeering crowd of neighborhood guys. That would be funny.

posted by molafson at 11:18 PM on May 09

If he's seven feet tall, he's got a chance, even if he can barely dribble the ball. "You can't teach size" - that cliché has probably helped a few hundred big kids get drafted.

posted by dusted at 11:29 PM on May 09

If he's seven feet tall, he's got a chance, even if he can barely dribble the ball. Not in the NBA, I don't think. In the WNBA, perhaps, but you'd be marginal. Case in point: Margo Dydek has a job with the San Antonio Silver Stars, pretty much solely by virtue of the seven feet two inches between her cement-filled shoes and the top of her head...but some of her competition is only 5' 3". I dunno how tall the shortest guy in the NBA is, but you can bet he's bigger than that. And even with a huge height disparity working in her favor, rumor has it Large Marge was looking at (at a minimum) a lot of bench time last season if she didn't learn to a)shoot and b)move her feet. Just standing beneath the basket isn't enough, not even if you're over 7 feet tall, not even if you're over 7 feet tall and you're defending against players who are barely over 5 feet tall. Dawn Staley and Sue Bird could score on Large Marge just about any time they felt like it. And this Chiriaev kid? Whoo. The girls would eat him up like catfish.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:13 AM on May 10

Earl Boykins, Denver Nuggets, 5'5", 133lbs. point well taken though...

posted by smithers at 07:24 AM on May 10

he should fly down to NYC and try to get a couple of games in the playgrounds I would think that there are enough guys in Toronto that could teach him a lesson. But when you are Bill Duffy (the agent), and are representing Yao Ming, Steve Nash and Tayshaun Prince (among others), you can afford to completely take a flier on some 7-footer stashed in Canada and try to build a hype bubble.

posted by smithers at 07:37 AM on May 10

Is this guy going to be the NBA's William Hung?

posted by jasonspaceman at 09:52 AM on May 10

What's going through Chiriaev's head is what his agent and coaches have put there. A prep player doesn't make the decision to go pro on his own. He's got plenty of people — most of all, I would think, agent Bill Duffy — shoving him in the back and tell him he's ready. If it was this freaking obvious to NBA scouts that the boy needs more time, Duffy needs a slap upside the head for even promoting this kid.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:42 AM on May 10

I've been clowning this guy since he declared in March. I don't know what's funnier, the fact that he thinks "the NBA wants and needs Ivan Chiriaev" (his words) when he was merely a third-team high school All-Star in Ontario, or the fact that he's seven-foot-one but thinks he's a point guard. There's a homeless guy outside my office who talks to imaginary people all day and he's less delusional than Ivan the Terrible. This kid will never wear an NBA uniform.

posted by Scott Carefoot at 11:22 AM on May 10

Pretty freaking hilarious, Scott. I like the "two-ball" idea from Cuban even better!

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:39 AM on May 10

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